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Apartheid Introduced In Bay Of Plenty

Media Release

24 July 2003


Apartheid Introduced In Bay Of Plenty

New Zealand First has described the introduction of two separate Maori seats on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council as another step on the road towards apartheid in this country.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said today that the idea of racial preferment was abhorrent to most New Zealanders and Environment Bay of Plenty was playing a dangerous game by manipulating the democratic process.

“We opposed Labour’s local government legislation that paved the way for this separate representation. We would be interested to know whether the creation of a ‘homelands’ in the Bay of Plenty is the next item on the agenda of this misguided council.”

Mr Peters said New Zealand First would get rid of the “separatist” legislation after the 2005 election.

“We stand for one system of representation for all New Zealanders. If Maori want more representation at local government level in the Bay of Plenty, they should field candidates and vote for them.

“Apathy is no excuse because many Maori have been very successful in local council politics.

“At Parliamentary level, New Zealand First has delivered on the issue of balanced representation. Maori do not need some misguided tokenistic white liberalism to change the voting system,” said Mr Peters.


ENDS

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